Master's Thesis

Development of a modular narrative framework for interactive storytelling in Virtual Reality


Tabitha Goebel

Processing Period:

13.02.2018 - 13.08.2018


Within this Master Thesis a concept of a modular narrative framework is developed. This will be used to create an interactive and playful VR experience for children. The experience should last for 5-10 min and should distract children during a MRI exam. As the duration of this exams varies, the narrative structure of the VR should be aligned accordingly and should be interesting and consistent in each case. Additionally, the characteristics of VR storytelling must be considered: The user's position and point of view isn't set by the developer, the user can choose them himself.

A VR experience consists of cinematic and interactive elements and is located somewhere between films and digital games. Having interactive elements the user is able to manipulate the story. The interaction elements can be created in a way, that they disrupt the story flow and require a user action to proceed, or that the story continues even without a user action. It will be investigated, which kind of interaction is suitable in this context.The target group of the VR experience are children in the age of 5-12 years. Following the child centered design pocess children will participate in the concept development to ensure that topic and structure of the story are appropriate, appealing and interesting.

The following issues should be considered as well: The children aren't allowed to move during the MRI exam and therefore the input possibilities are very limited. The story should be appealing and fascinating on the one hand and support the children to calm down and relax on the other. As the noise of the MRI can't be masked out completely, it should be integrated in the story reasonable.

A study will be conducted with students (N=60) to evaluate the concept of the framework regarding technical realisation and content. Within a 2x2 setting the group affiliation (experimental group with VR experience/control group without VR experience) and the length (short/long phase) is varied. All participants will have to answer several questionnaires regarding their sense of time and affect and will have to rate the usability among others.